The Voice of
10TH. AUGUSY 2004.
After all the 'quixotic' diatribe, from all and sundry, during the Princess Anne, HMS Tireless and Geoff Hoon sagas, Moratinos and his entourage 'enlighten' everyone with another re-hash of the never-ending story. What else could they have done to save-face before a gullible Spanish public opinion?
Geoff Hoon welcomes the Spanish Foreign Minister's new 'talante' as a sign of friendship from a fellow EU member and NATO ally. Whilst, at the same time, gives an ominous warning to Gibraltar in respect of its EU membership. Shades of Straw and Hain, one might say. Meanwhile, The Chief Minister 'congratulates' Moratinos for his insight and again shows his disposition to 'reasonable dialogue', if and when his conditions are met. No wonder the Spanish Government now feels it has 'regained the political initiative' over Gibraltar. So, whilst everyone waits, 3 months, 3 or 30 years, even another 300, nothing will change unless HMG retracts Jack Straw's joint-sovereignty proposals, scraps The Brussels Agreement and the Spanish Government recognises the Gibraltarians right to self-determination.
By all means, every effort at co-operation with the hinterland must be explored and encouraged. It is only natural between neighbours. But to do so, knowing all too well, that this is merely a Spanish subtle attempt at osmosis, is fool-hardy, to say the least. Whether 'a las buenas' or 'a las malas', the Gibraltarians will neither be wooed or coerced into a process that is anathema to them and emphatically expressed in the referendum.
If Morantinos were to be serious about finding a solution, acceptable to all three parties, he could do no better than to unconditionally lift all restrictions and put an end to the incessant adverse propaganda that emanates from all quarters in Spain. Only then should the Gibraltarians begin to consider his 'good-intentions' at face value.
The VOGG has repeatedly asked politicians, both UK and Spanish, to understand the realities of The Rock before making statements that insult the integrity and intelligence of the Gibraltarians. Again, Messrs Blair, Straw, Hoon, MacShane, Zapatero, Moratinos, Jimenez, Estrella and sycophant bandwagons, take due note.
It is on occasions like these that the following well-worn quotations take on a whole new perspective: